Heythrop College Publications

Ward, Keith (2014) The Grand Design: the Elimination of Mind. Science, Religion and Culture, 1 (1), pp. 15-21. [Journal Article]

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    In his book, ‘The Grand Design’ (with Leonard Mlodinow, Bantam Books, London, 2010), Stephen Hawking agrees that we should attempt to answer the questions ‘Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist?’ and ‘Why this particular set of laws and not some other?’ (p. 19). In his book he proposes to answer those questions, from a purely scientific point of view (‘Philosophy is dead’, he announces on p. 13, even though the whole book is an exercise in scientifically informed philosophy). But there is something very odd about this. Nowhere in the book does he mention consciousness, value, or thought. In fact he finally gives the game away on p. 228 by saying, ‘we human beings ...are ourselves mere collections of fundamental particles’. That is a philosophical view if ever there was one! It is precisely what is usually called eliminative reductionism, and I regard it as a non-starter, if you want to give a complete explanation of the universe.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Science, Religion and Culture
    Additional Information: Open access article
    Department: Philosophy
    Depositing User: Vicky Rowley
    Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2016 14:03
    Last Modified: 01 Jul 2016 14:03
    URI: http://publications.heythrop.ac.uk/id/eprint/2416

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